With Halloween on the horizon it seemed like a good time to repost this, with some updates. So the first version of this prestige class dates back to mid 2017, when a player in a game I was the GM for messaged me between games with an idea for a character that jumped bodies. The details escape me but the heart of this was a 10 level prestige class called the Stranger with the Burning Eyes. The class was originally designed for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition and appeared as part of a forum based supplement entitled Tome of Necromancy posted by FrankTrollman. Continuing on with the story, I told the player I’d have a look and if it seem reasonable I’d see what would need to be done to convert it from 3.5 to Pathfinder. My response to the class was effectively “This is amazing! There is no way I’m letting someone play this.” I love the concept and theme of this class, but there were some balance issues that made me more than a little wary. The chief culprit was the Burning Soul ability, also known as the body hopping power that is the beating heart of this prestige class. Looking at this ability, which is based on the spell magic jar, I immediately had the mental image of introducing a powerful creature, followed by the player call for a will save, the creature rolling a natural 1, and suddenly the player is a great wyrm red dragon or worse. Instead of simply telling the player “no”, I undertook to convert/tweek the class for use in my game. Initially, I only intended to patch the potential issues with its possession power and to do the normal suite of conversions for bringing D&D 3.5 content into Pathfinder 1st Edition, what follows is a wee bit more than that.
Stranger with the Burning Eyes [PF1E]
One of the greatest necromantic mysteries is the ability to move souls from one body to another, and to use this trick to inhabit the flesh of a stranger, gaining a twisted and parasitic form of immortality. Usually this art is as dangerous as it is powerful, but for the Stranger with the Burning Eyes the experience is a way of life. They have abandoned their true form and now only move from body to body like a virus, taking with them knowledge and power, working their way through the world using the bodies of others as proxies.When they transfer to a new body, their eyes glow with the fires of their souls, as they have fanned the flames of their spirits until they can survive without a material form. They are the consummate strangers in strange land, and often acquire habits from the many unusual body forms they have inhabited. One thing is certain: they have little regard for the people they inhabit.
Role: A Stranger with the Burning Eyes largely continues to offer the same utility as they did before their transformation. However, the ability to literally take the form of other beings makes them great assets in matters of infiltration or intrigue.
Hit Die: d6
Alignment: Because of the nature of their ascension into their unique and morally dubious form of immortality, a Stranger with the Burning Eyes is never of a good alignment. The act of stealing the bodies of others to extend their own lives forever mars the soul of a Stranger with the Burning Eyes. No matter what ends they seek, noble or otherwise, their very existence is an essay in self-interest.
Skills: Knowledge Religion 5 ranks, Knowledge Arcana 5 ranks.
Special: At some point during your life your true body must have been killed while you were magically possessing another creature.
Class Skills: A Stranger with the Burning Eyes’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Stealth (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Bluff (Cha).
Skills ranks at each level: 2 + Int modifier.
|1||+0||+0||+0||+1||Unfettered Spirit, Burning Soul, Token||+1 level of existing class|
|2||+1||+1||+1||+1||Consume||+1 level of existing class|
|3||+1||+1||+1||+2||Firewall of the Soul||+1 level of existing class|
|4||+2||+1||+1||+2||Explosive Reaction||+1 level of existing class|
|5||+2||+2||+2||+3||Inferno||+1 level of existing class|
|6||+3||+2||+2||+3||Lore of the Burning Flame||+1 level of existing class|
|7||+3||+2||+2||+4||Slow Burn||+1 level of existing class|
|8||+4||+3||+3||+4||Wildfire||+1 level of existing class|
|9||+4||+3||+3||+5||Conflagration||+1 level of existing class|
|10||+5||+3||+3||+5||Hellfire||+1 level of existing class|
The following are class features of the Stranger with the Burning Eyes prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Stranger with the Burning Eyes gains no proficiency with any weapons or armor.
Spells per Day/Spells Known: When a new Stranger with the Burning Eyes level is gained, they gain new spells as if they had also gained a level in a spellcasting class they belonged to before adding the prestige class. They do not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if they are a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If the character has more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Stranger with the Burning Eyes they must decide which class they add the new level to for the purpose of determining spells per day.
Unfettered Spirit: Your physical form has been lost to you, all that remains of you is your soul and an ever burning desire to persist in the world of the living. At 1st level a stranger with the burning eyes gains the Incorporeal subtype. However, if the Stranger is ever without a host body gained via a possession effect for more than a round, they die. Death in this manner can’t be prevented by any means. If the Stranger with the Burning Eyes ever dies and is resurrected they have a number of rounds equal to their levels in this class to possess a new body. If they fail to find a new host they die.
Burning Soul (Su): At 1st level, the Stranger with the Burning Eyes has mastered the ability to move between bodies. They may use possession at will as a supernatural ability with a permanent duration. As the Stranger’s soul and body are one, this ability functions as greater possession. This ability only functions against creatures with a number of HD equal to or less than the Stranger’s. In addition they gain Lifesense (Su) as the universal monster ability, and can sense if a creature has more, less, or equal HD to himself.
If their current body is killed, a Stranger returns to the last body they possessed with this ability, rather than being ejected to the closest empty square, if it is within range. This functions as if the Stranger had targeted the formerly possessed creature with this ability. The former body gets a save as normal. If it is not within range, or passes its save, the Stranger is killed unless he possesses a creature within one round. The Stranger with the Burning Eyes no longer ages, though bodies he is possessing will age.
If a Stranger with the Burning Eyes magically possesses another creature or object via a source other than this ability, the duration of any previous possession effect ends. They must possession of a new body, or renew the duration of their possession of their current body, before the duration of that effect ends. If they do not the Stranger dies.
Token: At 1st level, the Stranger with the Burning Eyes, gains a token item at no cost. These objects are always masterwork quality, and must be a piece of jewelry, staff, wand, or weapon with a value of up to 1000 gp. Once the selection of the item’s form is made it can not be changed. A stranger can add additional magic abilities to their token if he has the necessary Item Creation Feats or similar abilities such as the legendary item mythic ability, but it cannot be intelligent. If the token is a wand, it loses its wand abilities when its last charge is consumed, but it is not destroyed and it retains all of its token properties and can be used to craft a new wand.
A token has hardness and HP of an item of its type. If the token is ever more than 50 feet away from the body the Stranger with the Burning eyes is possessing for more than one round per level, the Stranger, as a free action, must attempt to possess a new body within 50 feet of the token, with their Burning Soul ability. They cannot possess their current body ever again. If he cannot possess a new body within one round, he dies. If the victim of the Stranger’s possession is ever given a second Will save to resist possession, a successful save means the victim is freed from possession and the Stranger must attempt to take a new host body.
The token magically appears on the body of the host when a Stranger possesses a new body, so as long as he lives it continues to exist. The destruction of a token is considered to be the same as moving it to more than 50 feet from a body possessed by the Stranger with the Burning Eyes. Possession of a new host restores a destroyed token, but any abilities added to the token via item creation feats are lost until make whole or greater make whole are cast on
For the purposes of reincarnation, resurrection, and similar effects used to return a creature to life, the token counts as the Stranger with the Burning Eye’s body.
Consume (Su): At second level, the Stranger with the Burning Eyes may “lose” a prepared spell or spell slot to perform a Wisdom damaging touch attack as a standard action. The touch attack deals Wisdom damage equal to the level of spell lost, and a successful Will save halves this damage. The saving throw DC for this ability is equal to 10 + 1/2 the Stranger with the Burning Eyes’ class level + the their primary casting ability modifier.
Firewall of the Soul: At 3rd level, the Stranger with the Burning Eyes is immune to any effect that moves their soul or would end their possession of a body, other than removing the Stranger’s token or a successful saving throw. Any effect that traps the Stranger with the Burning Eyes’ soul in their current body still works, and they will die if such an effect is cast on him and the body they are possessing dies. The Stranger may also remain in a body if they are in an antimagic field or similar effect, though they are effectively trapped in that body until he can leave that effect.
Explosive Reaction (Su): At 4th level, when the Stranger with the Burning Eyes is in a body that is killed, they may as use their burning soul ability as immediate action to attempt to possess a new body, else they can attempt to return to their last body as normal.
Inferno (Su): Starting at 5th level, while in a possessed body, the stranger gains any feats possessed by their host as a bonus feats. These feats are lost once the stranger is no longer possessing that host.
Lore of the Burning Flame (Ex): Starting at 6th level, while in a possessed body, the Stranger gains access to their host’s memories and gains 1 skill rank in each skill their host has ranks in. These ranks stack with the ranks the stranger already possesses, but can not exceed their maximum.
Slow Burn (Su): At 7th level, if the Stranger with the Burning Eyes is in a body that is killed, and he cannot successfully possess a new body, their soul is instead transferred into their token, as if they had cast the spell object possession,lesser with a duration of permanent. While in this state the Stranger is considered to be in close range of their body at all times. Should the token be destroyed while it holds the soul of the Stranger, or an effect cause them to be ejected or returned to their body, they immediately die without a chance to possess new a new body. A Stranger may use their Burning Soul ability while in this form.
Wildfire (Su): At 8th level, the Stranger with the Burning Eyes may use their possession ability a number of times per round up to their primary casting ability modifier as a full round action. In addition the range of their possession increases to long. This enables him to make possession attempts very quickly and even travel large distances in heavily populated areas.
Conflagration: As a standard action, a 9th level Stranger with the Burning Eyes can combine the use of their Consume ability with their Burning Soul ability. A creature they attempt to possess must also make a saving throw against the Stranger’s consume ability . This expends prepared spells or spell slots as normal.
Hellfire (Su): At 10th level the stranger becomes a true master at ignoring death’s call. Should the Stranger with the Burning Eyes ever be killed, they return to life with their soul in their Token, as if by their slow burn ability, 24 hours later. The token appears in a place of the Stranger’s choosing within 20 miles of the place he died. The Stranger must have visited the place in which their token appears at least once. This effect functions as the spell resurrection, except the Stranger’s original body is never restored.